The US Embassy in Ottawa says it has issues that the federal Liberals’ controversial on-line streaming act might discriminate in opposition to American firms.

In an announcement to The Canadian Press, an embassy spokesperson stated U.S. officers are holding consultations with companies about how Invoice C-11 might have an effect on their operations.

“We have now … issues it might influence digital streaming providers and discriminate in opposition to U.S. companies,” Molly Sanchez Crowe stated within the assertion.

The invoice goals to replace Canada’s broadcasting regulation so it displays the arrival of on-line streaming platforms comparable to YouTube, Spotify and Netflix. If the invoice passes, such platforms can be required to contribute to the creation of Canadian content material and make it accessible to customers in Canada — or face steep penalties.

The proposed regulation has come below intense scrutiny amid accusations from firms and critics who stated it left an excessive amount of room for presidency management over user-generated content material and social-media algorithms.

The chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Fee (CRTC), which might be given new enforcement powers below the invoice, disputed these issues throughout a Senate committee listening to final month, although some lawmakers stated they had been nonetheless involved about vagueness within the invoice’s wording.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has stated it isn’t involved about being regulated additional. Nevertheless it has maintained that the invoice would have interaction in synthetic promotion of sure content material and provides the federal government management over what customers see.

Potential commerce dispute

Beneath the Canada-United States-Mexico Settlement on commerce, or CUSMA, a rustic can problem a regulation when it feels it’s being discriminated in opposition to.

U.S. Commerce Consultant Katherine Tai has beforehand expressed concern concerning the proposed regulation, however has not stated whether or not her nation would launch a commerce dispute.

Worldwide Commerce Minister Mary Ng has insisted that the net streaming act in is line with Canada’s commerce obligations.

Marc Froese, a political science professor at Burman College in Alberta, stated it is attainable a dispute may very well be launched in opposition to Canada.

“Is it inevitable? No,” he stated in an interview Tuesday.

He pointed to a cross-border dispute Canada confronted 25 years in the past over “split-run” magazines, or American magazines that had been offered in Canada with the identical content material however with Canadian promoting. The proportion of Canadian advertisements they may embody had already been strictly restricted because the ’60s, and in 1994, the federal government added a hefty excise tax to the equation.

Invoice awaiting remaining Senate vote

Ottawa noticed the coverage as a solution to forestall cultural swamping by the People, Froese stated.

However the U.S. disputed the coverage by way of the World Commerce Group and threatened retaliation below the then-North American Free Commerce Settlement, or NAFTA.

“We performed hardball. The People sued us,” Froese stated. “And we misplaced.”

Jean Chretien’s Liberal authorities was compelled to again down, although some restrictions on imported magazines remained. Since then, Froese stated Canada has realized lots about commerce disputes and cultural exemptions, and it has change into a number one consumer of dispute decision mechanisms on the worldwide stage.

“We’re not a babe within the woods on the subject of coping with litigation. Canadians get afraid of that: ‘The People may sue us. They will not like what we’re doing.’ Yeah, so what?” Froese stated.

Even so, the up to date broadcasting guidelines may very well be protected against commerce violations by cultural exemptions written into commerce agreements, he stated.

Toronto-based commerce lawyer Lawrence Herman, of Herman & Associates, stated he does not assume the invoice will face many extra hurdles.

“The Canadian authorities will do no matter is important to be sure that these measures are applied in a superbly reputable means,” Herman stated. “To keep away from any suggestion that our commerce commitments usually are not proper.”

The invoice handed within the Home of Commons final June and is awaiting a remaining vote within the Senate.

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